Farewell Queen of the Skies


Feeling very old and quite sad for the final long-haul flights of both Cathay Pacific and Air New Zealand’s beautiful 747’s, nicknamed the Jumbo Jet or the Queen of the Skies. I never flew with Air NZ’s version though I did fly with CX on its LHR-HKG route (now taken over by the Boeing 777) back in 2010.

This aircraft is special to me for its design and in that it is more or less my age. Both airlines are due to retire their remaining jumbo’s on their respective Trans-Pacific flights, though CX will continue to operate its planes on regional routes, for the time being at least. Air NZ will also utilise its 777’s to replace the journey’s formerly flown by the jumbo.

One can only anticipate more carriers return to Boeing to purchase the new 747-8 craft, it suits Lufthansa well on the times I’ve spotted it at HKG but has sadly been slow to sell in the commercial sphere. So far Korean Air, Nigeria’s Arik Air, Air China and Russia’s Transaero are the only ones who have placed firm orders. Let’s hope many join them in keeping the Queen of the Skies flying for years to come.

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